Rutgers Housing Law and Policy Digital Archive

Newark 1967 Civil Disorders Mount Laurel Affordable Housing Litigation Council on Affordable Housing (COAH)

The collection includes the report of the New Jersey Governor's Select Commission on Civil Disorder (Lilley Commission) and its associated 5000+ pages of hearing transcripts and exhibits on the causes of the Newark riots and civil disorders in 1967. The materials offer fascinating first-hand accounts of the events surrounding the civil disorders in Newark and other New Jersey cities as well as testimony as to the causes and possible remedies.

The transcripts of the Lilley Commission hearings are held by only two libraries in the world. This digital archive makes the material broadly available to scholars for the first time. The question of housing affordability as a remedy for the problems of urban communities is a central theme in the testimony of many of the witnesses.

The Mount Laurel litigation encompasses a series of court cases spanning a period of over 30 years. In a recent survey of land use policy experts, the Mount Laurel cases were deemed to be among the top ten court decisions of the 20th Century in terms of their importance and impact. Lawyers and scholars have described the Mount Laurel cases as the state law equivalent of Brown v. Board of Education.

The Mount Laurel cases are a series of nationally significant court decisions concerning affordable housing that were litigated with the assistance of Rutgers Law School faculty and students. This collection includes approximately 94,000 pages from case files, depositions, briefs, expert testimony, complaints and trial memoranda.

The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was created by the Fair Housing Act of 1986 as the State Legislature's response to a series of New Jersey Supreme Court cases known as the Mount Laurel decisions. The Supreme Court established a constitutional obligation for all of the municipalities in the state to establish a realistic opportunity for the provision of fair share low and moderate income housing obligations, generally through land use and zoning powers. The legislature provided an administrative alternative to this constitutional obligation via the Fair Housing Act.

This collection includes the administrative decisions issued by the Council.